“FAN” as you wish – let me do the same

I’ve done several posts about things I see both good and bad in the Outlander Clandom. I have to assume – since I have zero experience in other fandoms – that these are not isolated issues, but things that are constants because people are people. I’ve also made the comment before that fandoms seem to be a microcosm of the world in general and it has been a very interesting study.

My social media presence has been purposely limited for the last few weeks because I simply got tired of all the election issues. (Also, I tend to inhabit Twitter more than anything else for reference.) What makes me both sad and angry about the election isn’t the candidates (they both SUCK) but how everyday people are treating each other. We all have our histories, experiences and beliefs shaping each decision we make; meaning we will often disagree about topics that are of particular importance to us. Discussing ideas and philosophies to gain a better, broader understanding of any topic is a good thing – but it seems far too often people go at these situations with closed minds and personal attacks.

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The same thing is going on within the Outlander fandom. The conclusion I have come to is that the vast majority of the ‘Clandom’ are good people that just want to enjoy the show, discuss it, see what the cast & crew are up to and have a unifying topic to share and have fun with on social media. Unfortunately a few very vocal, nasty, invasive people that tend to attack rather than discuss fill the entire fandom with strife.

I had planned to do a post like this a while back, life got in the way. Here is where it started. I was seeing comments on Twitter and FB about how Season 2 was an ‘epic failure’ and ‘almost everyone’ really didn’t like it. While I had seen some comments about very specific things people were unhappy with, overall I thought the season had gone well and felt that was the overall opinion. So I did a little survey on Twitter. Here is the result:

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I was disappointed that so few responded, but I think it’s probably a pretty accurate representation. I would put out the supposition that NO ONE likes every single moment of Outlander-Season 2 (or any other TV show they watch), but overall felt it was great television. I fall into that category.

If there are things you don’t like about the show, this season specifically, a direction….whatever…that is perfectly ok. DISCUSS it. Explain why you don’t like it. LISTEN to why other people DID like to get a different perspective. Verbally attacking/abusing another person for their opinion/thoughts/ideas is just wrong. I get really angry with people that say nasty things about Ron Moore and his direction for the show. He sees it with different eyes from long time book readers – he is not out to ruin a favorite story. Ron is damn good at his job….he makes good TELEVISION. His vision comes from a very different place and it will not match yours, or mine or anyone else’s. If you truly hate what he is doing, stop watching – just like you would with any other show.

Now what got me busy on this post again today (and I admit several things have given me big pause as I’ve been writing making me re-think and further ponder) was this tweet:

 fan-leaving-fandom-4-nov-2016-no-id

So….the fandom lost a supporter, someone that just wanted to enjoy the process without all the drama. That is a sad thing. I took this person’s ID off the tweet so they wouldn’t be hassled about it.

I’m sure there are some (if they even see this because they have me blocked…oh wait…blocking ME doesn’t keep them from seeing what I post, just keeps me from seeing what they post) that will be saying, “But we have the right to express ourselves and fan as we want to! You can’t drive us away!”…..Ok….but that works both ways. Take the shipping war as an example (since all know about it). If you want to ship, fine – but don’t attack people that don’t agree with you or insist that you are better/truer fans than anyone else. Same goes for the non-shippers. No attacking, name calling or running to WS or Sam trying to get people in trouble.  I happen to disagree with ‘shipping’ real people that have stated they are NOT a couple; I have laid out my reasoning in at least two previous posts: Why I Hate RL “shipping” and Serious Line: Fan to Fanatic. However, while I don’t like the practice, I don’t attack the people shipping. If someone feels I have actually attacked an individual, please show me and let me know so I can apologize as that is never, ever my intention.

Voting is another area of contention. Some people love to vote on these polls. Some don’t. Some really can’t for a wide variety of reasons. ALL these things are valid. Not voting does not make you less of a fan. Those that vote need to ask politely for votes – and let people decide for themselves. Give fans the information to be able to vote quickly and easily, find fun motivation in memes or comments and let people make up their own damn minds! Would it be easier to win some of these competitions with more fingers working? Sure! Some people don’t like the process or the time it eats up from other things or have computer access issues or many other things and so not voting is a perfectly valid choice and they are still a fan. Everyone has the right to ‘fan’ as they choose – but not cram what they feel is right down anyone else’s throat.

Am I doing that here? I suppose it could be viewed that way. The difference is I’m not brow-beating a specific individual or a few people with it. I’m not personally attacking anyone, calling anyone nasty names, belittling them, or trying to get them in trouble with anyone – I’m stating my position. Like it or not – that is on your head. Discuss your views with me – I’d love that!

My suggestion for people struggling with nastiness in the Outlander fandom is to limit who you follow, be willing to unfollow people that just don’t mesh with you and use the mute option if it really gets to a place you can’t deal with it. Don’t give up something you enjoy because other people need to mature a bit. Speak out if you feel up for that – but against the action/practice not people. Expect to take some hits if you do. Totally up to you how you handle all this.

The one thing I have asked for many, many times in my blogs that I will continue to ask for is this:

Courtesy

 

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6 thoughts on ““FAN” as you wish – let me do the same

  1. Steph says:

    Thanks for this blog, Beth. It needs to be said and repeated numerous times. We’re going to lose our access to the stars and crew members if people continue to act like they have been. I just don’t understand why we can’t all just get along… If someone don’t like something, then don’t be a part of it. If they’re unhappy, don’t drag everyone else down. Some of us are enjoying ourselves without drama.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I agree. My other beef is pushing drama and conflict, trying to get reaction, then crying victim. Don’t care who does it, it’s a cowards way to do things.

      • Hi Beth,
        I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing by replying to your post. I don’t want to be a drama queen and cause more conflict. I’m not a coward, but I don’t go looking for a battle.

        I, too, am disgusted with fan behavior. I’ve seen things that are very hurtful and yes, I do take it personally. Especially, the articles written by Bernadette Giagamazzo, about shipping in fandoms. Tonight I tweeted her to discuss the article. Before tweeting Bernadette I read her Twitter feed and was surprised to find she seemed like a nice person. Not at all like the person that wrote the articles. She indicated she was open to discuss things, but not OL, which to me meant the show “Outlander,” not the article. She didn’t agree and chose not to discuss the articles and blocked me.

        Before going to bed I noticed, “FAN” as you wish – let me do the same,” yes, I read your article.

        I wish fanning could be that simple. You have made it very clear how you feel about shipping/shippers, I don’t agree with your opinion, but I respect it.

        I am a fan of everything Outlander. My favorite characters are Jamie and Claire. Sam and Cait are wonderful actors who do an amazing job! Two wonderful individuals that I respect and wish everything wonderful for them.

        I am a shipper, based on what I see and feel between Sam and Cait. Yes, I know, they have denied it, publicly. They have also done things that would imply otherwise. No one really knows one way or the other. I wish nothing but the best for them. If someday I am proven wrong, so be it, as long as they are happy, that’s what is important.

        How I choose to be a fan is not accepted by many in this fandom. I am baffled by words that have been used to describe us. Delusional, mentally ill, tin hats, cockroaches and some words I can’t bring myself to say.

        Bernadette’s reference to Outlander fans being made up of old women, grandmothers who need to get a life. She commended William Shatner and Paul Camuso for trying to rid the fandom of shippers.

        What I find puzzling, these are the same people the rest of the fandom admires. Their words are hurtful to many, but are never questioned by others. Does the silence indicate others agree?

        Write or wrong is not my question. One thing we call all agree on is Outlander. The disgusting behavior of a few are ruining things. The hard working cast and crew deserve better.

        I hope we can all make Outlander our priority. Yes, courtesy and respect go a long way.

        Thank you for reaching out to others.
        Linda

      • rynawolfe says:

        Linda,

        Thank you so much for your comment. I can only go by what I myself have seen and experienced so come from that place. Please understand I don’t ‘hate’ or even dislike RL shippers….I loathe the practice. I don’t know if you have read my other articles about shipping, but explain very clearly why I dislike it. Hard core shippers are adamant that S & C have given indications that they are ‘together’….however….their public stance, many times; their ‘for the record’ on this is that they are NOT absolutely NOT a couple. Now…to me, because I feel they are – how did you put it – ‘wonderful actors who do an amazing job, two wonderful individuals that I respect and wish everything wonderful for them’ (your words, I feel the same). Because I DO respect them, I am taking that – no matter their private lives NON-COUPLE is what they want for their public/professional lives. Shouldn’t shippers give them that same respect? That is a very serious question. How can shippers say ‘totally respect them’ but not respect their wishes that they have publically stated on numerous occasions.?

        As for Bernadette…did you see the early on part of that? She was referencing all fandoms about RL shipping in an article and how damaging it can be. How easily it can get out of control. She was attacked big time by OL shippers. People saying really nasty things to her much worse than the names you listed above. She tried to explain her position till someone (I don’t remember who and even if I did I wouldn’t post that – I do not advocate creating more issues) made a comment to the effect that the she was obviously mentally ill and should just kill herself. Bernadette had a childhood friend that DID have some mental issues and HAD committed suicide and that comment set her off and yes, she did lash back our of pain and anger. Keeping in mind this attack had been going on via Twitter for about an hour. The person that had pushed her then went around crying ‘victim’ and see how mean she was to me. After this, her bosses were contacted trying to get her fired, she received death threats. (THIS sort of crap is why shippers get the labels they do by the way.) I believe, Bernadette has chosen not to engage with ANY shippers from the OL fandom because of this. Two or three – maybe four people attacked her so now the whole shipper sect of the fandom pays the price.

        Shatner is Shatner and I’ve addressed him before. He is an acerbic son-of-a-gun. He was also a good looking actor when younger and had a huge following. He had shippers to deal with and did not like the experience. HE has actually talked to Sam and they are friends (unlike any of us that are just fans) and probably knows way more about Sam’s personal life and how shippers affect Sam, Cait, the show, etc. Sam has to be careful how he responds to things – he is in an ongoing popular show and he is a big draw for that. Lots of responsibility. Shatner couldn’t give a shit so when he sees something he knows bothers his ‘friend’ he comments on it. Now, I admit some of Shatner’s fans have gotten out of hand with how they handled things – just like ours have – but really, it isn’t Shatner’s fault what his fans do any more than Sam is to blame for our actions. Shatner has never asked for fans to be attacked (and I was following him WAY before Outlander) – he does suggest they be reported if people feel their tweets are out of line. SOME of the shippers make snotty comments to/about him, (or Sam or Sam/Cait couple, etc.) it gets back to him, he calls them out for it and he’s the bad guy. Not at all logical. Shatner has snarked me – I loved it. I got a response and it was in his classic style. Don’t remember the conversation but I piped in with “seems unfair you doing a battle of wits with an unarmed person” – he came back with “well then I definitely shouldn’t talk to YOU”………… I laughed. I didn’t take it as an attack, it was verbal sparring.

        Another thing happening is a friend or friends of Sam’s being attacked on IG. It got so bad a few days ago Sam finally lashed out a few days ago. THIS is why shippers get a bad name. They feel this person/persons are getting in the way of Sam/Cait so are rude, nasty and overall come across as, yes, delusional and possibly mentally ill. As I said above, Sam & Cait have made the statement they are NOT a couple – what is frustrating for most of the fans is that shippers simply refuse to respect that.

        I guess all I’m asking with my blogs about shipping is for shippers to really THINK about what they are doing. Private FB groups or Tumbler (which I avoid) or whatever where you all can discuss their romance to your hearts content with each other (not tagging Sam & Cait), fantasize all you want – go for it. Notice the PRIVATE. Sam & Cait have BOTH said many times now that they are very close but NOT a couple – if shippers truly respect them, shouldn’t they respect THAT? Their private life is none of our business.

        All that having been said, I love open discussion like this. You gave me a great response, I hope I have done the same for you. We should, as adults, be able to discuss our different viewpoints without reverting to schoolyard nastiness and name calling.

  2. jabonader says:

    Perfect!! Thank you

    • Hi Beth, thanks for the reply.
      Some times it’s better to agree to disagree. You and I fan differently. We agree on what is wrong. Where we go from there is the question.

      I NEVER tag the cast/crew in anything. I see how many times people tag them on a daily basis, just wrong. I also know what Sam and Cait have said about shippers. They are not bothered by it, I’m sure there are exceptions. By saying I feel differently about their relationship is not disrespecting them.

      Just finished watching BAFTA so happy for Cait, so deserving in her portrayal of Claire.

      Sam, also deserving, but was in a very strong field. This does not take away from his enormous talent.

      We’ll have an interesting week as fans. With MM and Tony at the awards and in town our patience will be strained again!

      Oh well no one every said it would be easy!

      Have a good week and keep out of trouble and I’ll do the same!

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